Letter – Luke Lyman, 8 August 1864


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Letter written by Private Luke C. Lyman of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 18th US Infantry, to his family. The letter was written from the headquarters of the 2nd Brigade near Atlanta, GA. Lyman writes that the previous day was difficult, as they had a heavy fight at Utoy Creek, GA. However, the regiment “won laurels” by driving back the Confederate troops. The Confederates attempted to take back their works after dark, but were again driven off by troops under the command of General George H. Thomas. Lyman remarks on the casualties suffered by the 18th US Infantry as well as the 15th Regulars, which he blames on General Absalom Baird. Lyman pities the troops on the skirmish line that night, for if the weather turns foul they will have no shelter. He closes by writing that he has been ordered to the division headquarters.

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Head. Quarters 2d

Brigade 1st Division 14th A.C.

7 Miles South West of Atlanta

Georgia Aug 8th 1864

Dear Parents & Sisters

We have been on the move and fighting for a longe time so we have not had time nor a chance to write an answer to your last letter which Phill recieved some time ago, and has it with him out at the front yesterday if it was Sunday, was a hard day for our 2d Brigade we had a heavy fight and the 18th wone lorals [laurels], charged the Johneys rite to their works making them run like whiped dogs, taking about five hundred prisoners killing and wounding a slew of them. The rebs were so chigrined at our success that they waited until dark and then tried to take back their works by a charge our boy[s] waited until they came very close and saved their charges, then they poured volley after colley into them which sent them howling back to mourn their loss and repent their audacious effrontery in attempting to charge any of General Thomas’es men knowing that they are all olde soldiers and know how to handle the Johney [???]. The loss in the 18th is about seventy or eighty men, mostly slight wounds though 15th Regulars lost still heavier on account of an Enfilading fire

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the rebs had on them General Beard [Baird] not advancing as he should have done.

I pitty the boys who are on the skirmish line this afternoon and tonight their hard ships are hard ships tonight, for they will be obliged to lay in their pits if it does rain and there is no shelter for them to shield them from the merciless pelting rain and they have to have a cup to dip the water out of their rifle pits so they can stay in them, for to show yourself out of them is a little dangerous piece of bisness. I am glad I have got a place where I can stand and look on and see just

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as well. I am ordered to go out to Division Head Quarters, so I will have to close in haste, if it does rain but I have a mule to ride. I had to get up three times in the night and go round. Phill is well and has but three weeks minus three days to stay.

my love to all direct to

L C Lyman



Head Quarters

2nd Brig 1st Div

14th A.C.

Luke Chandler Lyman was born October 29, 1832, the son of Frederick Lyman and Hannah Chandler. He worked as a shoemaker in Clermont County, OH and married Mary Ann Garster on May 27, 1860. He is described as being 5’10”, fair skinned, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in Columbus, OH on October 30, 1861 at the age of 29 and served as a private with Company A of the 18th US Infantry. He was discharged on October, 30, 1864 at Lookout Mountain, TN when his service term expired. He returned to Ohio and had three sons with Mary. In 1882 he filed as an invalid to receive his pension. He died April 24, 1922 and is buried in Rivercliff Cemetery, Morrow County, OH.

Philip S. Lyman was born in May 1841, the son of Frederick Lyman and Hannah Chandler. He enlisted August 26, 1861 in Delaware, OH along with Oliver S. Lyman (24) at the age of 20. He worked as a farmer, and is described as having light hair, a dark complexion, and blue eyes. While Oliver died October 27, 1864 at Andersonville, GA, Philip survived and was discharged August 26, 1864 at the expiration of his service term outside of Atlanta, GA at the rank of sergeant. After the war, Philip moved to Chicago, IL and married Emeline Lyman and had three sons. He worked as a carpenter and died on November 23, 1910. He is buried at Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, IL.

Another letter from Luke to his brother Philip, can be found in the collection of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 21 December 1863


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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Chattanooga, TN. Fogg mentions the recent battle at Chattanooga. He has been at work clearing the ground for a National Cemetery between Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, and can hear the Engineer Corps blasting as they work on the road around Lookout Mountain. The troops are on reduced rations until the railroad is completed. General William T. Sherman’s 15th Corps recently passed through as well as General Joseph Hooker’s troops. Fogg describes them as being in “destitute condition.” He mentions a letter printed in the Nashville Union from the 2nd Minnesota Regiment, which describes the battle at Missionary Ridge on November 24th and “straightens up” a misleading account written by a member of the 6th Indiana. He states that the 11th Ohio’s flag was the first one in the Confederate works, though it was his division led by Absalom Baird which engaged the enemy in hand to hand combat.

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Chattanooga, Tenn. Dec. 21st 1863


     I rec’d yours of the 11th yesterday. There is nothing of importance going on here at present. I have written to you twice since the last battle [Chattanooga]. I also sent you a Nashville Union and Louisville Journal, and will send another by this mail. The Union is the anti-slavery paper of this section, and sells the quickest among the soldiers in this army. But the news dealers will persist in bringing on Nashville papers, Dispatches, Louisville Journals, etc., and consequently they have large quantities of them left over which they have to sell at reduced prices for waste papers, etc. The price of newspapers has been reduced from 10 to 5 cents here lately. There are no

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sutlers here, and therefore we have to do without some little necessary articles as well as conveniences. I wish you would send me a skim of thread in a letter the next time you write. The Engineer Corps are at work day and night at the road around Lookout [Mountain]. We could hear them blasting rock all night last night. The river is up higher than it has been before since we came here, and it has been very cold for a few days. About a week ago there was a hard thunder shower, with some of the loudest thunder that I ever heard. It rained 2 or 3 days and then turned in very cold. I was at work one day last week clearing off the ground for a National Cemetery. One-hundred of our regt. done the first day’s work on it. It includes almost 30 acres

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and is on a knoll about halfway between Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, to the right of “Orchard Knob,” the Knoxville R.R. running just on this side of it. We are still on ¾ rations, without any prospect of any more than that until the R.R. is completed to this place. Sherman’s (15th) Corps passed down the 18th, but I did not get to see the boys in the 53rd [Ohio] as I was out at work that day.

Hooker’s men passed down the day before, and they were in very destitute condition. A great many of them were bare-footed, and many of them had no blankets. They left their knapsacks here when they went up the river. They lived off the country nearly altogether, they said, having drawn only 2 day’s rations from the gov’t since they left here (about the 28th of Nov.). In the Nashville Union

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of the 17th, which I send [to] you, is a letter from a member of the 2nd Minn. Regt., which partly straightens up a very exaggerated and partial account of the battle of the 24th [of November – Missionary Ridge], which was written by a member of the 6th Ind, (Johnson’s Division) who doesn’t do any fighting himself, but stands back at Ft. Wood till the battle is over, and then tells about what “we done” at Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain. Our brigade was not in the advance when the charge was first attempted on Ms. Ridge, but we were on top of the ridge as soon as any of them on our part of the line. The flag of the 11th Ohio was the 1st one in the Rebel works on our part of the line. Our regimental flag was not there, or it would have been on the ridge as soon as any of them. It was our division (Baird’s) which engaged the enemy in that hand to hand fight on the left just about sundown after we had driven them a half mile out along the ridge. My overcoat has not arrived yet, but I suppose it is safe as it is in the hands of the Express boat.

                                   Cecil Fogg       

Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.